After just a few years on the scene, Nying Zemo has established a place for itself in the high-end area rug community, opening a dialogue among fine artists, interior designers and upscale clients that has led to product beyond the ordinary.
The company has roots in both New York and Nepal. While co-founders Simmy Pappachen and Shalini Acharya currently reside in New York, Acharya is Nepalese and owns the factory in Nepal where the Nying Zemo product is made.
Pappachen said the advantage of ownership has provided countless benefits for the duo, noting the company’s base in New York “gives the respect of a serious business player [while] Nepal gives us the authenticity of the product.”
“We are essentially the manufacturer,” Pappachen said. “There are no middle men. Shalini and I are the owners of the company and clients mainly work directly with us, which leaves little room for misinterpretation. It’s like you are working directly with the manufacturer in Nepal, with the convenience of being in New York.”
As with any product coming from overseas, particularly today, timing has become a more crucial point of business, with approvals and shipments taking two and three times longer than they did in the past. “With Nying Zemo’s relationship and quality control, we are able to produce a fantastic product in about 120 days,” she said.
Nying Zemo is currently working with six artists, translating their art into area rugs. Their roster includes Aziz + Cucher from New York; Robert Chacko from Los Angeles; Uday Dhar from New York; Michelle Weinberg from Miami; and Scott Petrie from Sydney, Australia. The first rug designs from New York-based Matthew Weinstein are slated to launch soon.
The arrangement here is slightly different from the typical licensee/licensor relationship. Nying Zemo works with its artists on a commission basis, functioning as “a brand name which works with fine artists,” Pappachen said, “but we also have the capability to work with interior designers and/or clients for whatever type of Tibetan rug they would like custom-ordered.”
The company is also careful to collaborate with artists that bring a new perspective. For example, Pappachen pointed to the Aziz + Cucher Collection as having “a painterly quality, yet a very design-forward aesthetic due to the digitized landscapes, which they interpret in their rug designs.”
She added while some of the Aziz + Cucher designs “may look simple, there are no repetitive patterns, which makes it more difficult for the rug weaver and results in a very special product. This also gives the pieces a sense of movement, just the way a painting can have a sense of movement.”
Beyond the creation of new product, the company is committed to giving back to the region where its rugs are made. In addition to operating a RugMark-certified workshop in Nepal, they donate 2 percent of profits to ABC Nepal, a non-profit human rights organization with a special focus on the trafficking of women and children for the purpose of sexual exploitation.